“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” (from ‘The Problem of Pain’ by C S Lewis, author of The Narnia Chronicles).
Over the past year you may feel that God has been using his megaphone more often than usual through the pain of illness, bereavement, loneliness, fear, dashed hopes, shredded plans and trashed finances.
To say that God sometimes shouts at us is likely to make us think that God loses it with us, he rants at us. More volume equals more anger. But that is not what Lewis means at all. Most of us who are parents will have shouted at our children like that, with exasperation, even though we know that it was not the right thing to do – we may have got our way but it did not lead to the change of heart in our children that was really needed.
But there is another kind of parental shouting – very loud but without anger. It is the shout when our child is close to noisy traffic, or a long way from us, or oblivious to the danger they are in, or daydreaming or when they have loud music playing in their ear-buds. It is a shout to warn of danger, to attract their attention or to make sure they don’t miss the delicious meal on the kitchen table. It is loud because the message is important, their deafness is great, their understanding of what is truly good is limited and we love them very much. More volume equals more love.
C S Lewis explains that God’s love is nothing like our ‘kindness’. “Kindness cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering”. True love, God’s love, would rather see loved ones suffer than be content with a fragile happiness that cannot last and which masks how estranged we are from our loving Creator, who is the true source of the one and only river of deep and everlasting happiness.
If he has been using his megaphone a lot this past year then perhaps we should ask ourselves what our loving Creator and Lord might be wanting to say to us all.